For the New Year’s Eve dinner, Italians spent 2.5 billion euros on food and drinks, with almost nine out of ten Italians (87%) consuming them in their own homes or those of relatives and friends. The remaining individuals opted for restaurants and pizzerias, chosen by 4.6 million people, with approximately 350,000 people celebrating in agritourism establishments.

This information comes from the New Year’s balance sheet presented by Coldiretti, revealing a slight increase in overall spending compared to the 2022 New Year’s (+2%). The report also highlights a significant return of superstitious rituals at the table, driven by the challenges of recent years, including the pandemic and war.

The average number of people at the table is slightly above seven, indicating a return to conviviality, as confirmed by the success of public square celebrations, according to the Coldiretti/Ixè survey.

Sparkling wine remains an essential item for almost nine out of ten Italians (89%), closely followed by lentils present in 85% of menus—perhaps because they are believed to bring good luck. Other popular items include grapes (56%), pomegranates, dried fruits, and red chili peppers.

Interest in lentils was accompanied by the resurgence of cotechino and zampone, present on 70% of tables. Italian national fish, including anchovies, clams, sole, red mullet, eel, capon, and cuttlefish, was prominent during the festive season. However, 65% of Italians tasted salmon from abroad, with only 9% bringing oysters and 5% caviar (often of domestic production, also exported) to the table.

On New Year’s tables, the most internationally present Italian product was sparkling wine, with a total of 936 million bottles of Italian sparkling wine opened worldwide in 2023—more than triple the number of champagne bottles, which stood at just 300 million, according to Coldiretti’s analysis of Ismea – Uiv data.

Abroad, more than two-thirds of the total consumption, amounting to 650 million bottles, involved Italian toasts dominating internationally over French champagne, despite the latter commanding significantly higher prices. The tradition of dipping a finger in a glass of sparkling wine and then passing it behind the ear also spreads with the tricolored bubbles, concludes Coldiretti.

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